Archive by Author

Fred Remembers~Part 4

16 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES
Judy Wills

 

As I recall, sometime, probably in the late Spring or early Summer of 1947, we moved from our quarters in Caserta up to the area near Pisa, Italy.

 

June 1970 – Judy and the Leaning Tower

There was a town up there called either Viareggio or Livorno. It was near camp Darby, which Judy and I have visited. We were there for about two weeks, and then we drove on over to Trieste.

Trieste at the time was a U.S. protectorate – actually a U.S. and British protectorate. It was a free territory administered by the U.S. and British. As I recall, it was four miles wide and 19 miles long from North to South and had about 1,000 U.S. troops and another 700 British troops there. The overall name was the Trieste United States Troops, which was abbreviated TRUST. I believe it stayed as a free territory until 1956, when it was finally divided up between Italy, which got the city and the port, and the rest went to Yugoslavia.

One of the nice things we enjoyed to do for sort-of-a-vacation time while we lived in Trieste, was to drive up into the Dolomite mountains in northern Italy, to the city of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which is where they had the 1956 Olympics, which, of course was some years after we were there.

 

1948 – Dolomites – Cortina – Tofane
From Charles Wills’ albums

 

The unit had a Special Forces hotel there which was right on a golf course, with a little lake, and we used to go up there both in the summer for a summer resort, and in the winter time and do some skiing. It was a beautiful resort area, and we enjoyed it.

Some good memory that I have about living in Trieste was that a little bit north of town, outside the city limits was a castle called Miramare, which is where the U.S. had some of their administrative offices that may have been their headquarters for a while for the U.S. Forces in it. It was left over from Emperor Maximilian, and it was right on the coast, which was real rocky there.

 

Trieste – via Carducci #2 – where the Wills lived in the 1940’s after WW2
They lived in the “Mezzanine” – just under the arches her

 

 

 

I remember the Corps of Engineers manufactured a beach – they brought in some sand from some place and had a little beach area there where people could get a little sun tan on the beach. But the basic swimming area there was really rocky, however it was a fairly sharp drop-off. You could go out 20 or 30 feet and it was already 10 or 15 feet deep.

 

1948 – June – Miramare Castle gardens and beach, Trieste, Italy
From Charles Wills’ albums

 

I remember there was a large rock, roughly 20-foot square, that we could swim out to, and then jump off that into the water. They eventually put up about a 10×10-foot raft out there that was anchored so that we had another thing we could jump onto and off of.

 

1948 – Miramare Castle pier – The Wills family

I remember swimming down probably 8 or 10 feet, maybe deeper, and swimming through the grass, and noticing the fish. I was able to do this with my eyes open, even though I didn’t have a mask or goggles on. I think the water was not as salty as the ocean.

~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.

Fred Remembers~Part 3

9 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

In late 1946, my Dad was transferred to a military facility near Naples, Italy, and while we were waiting to go ourselves, Mom and us four kids were staying with Dad’s mom in Ocean View, New Jersey.

 

The Wills family, before Charles left for Italy

When it came time for us to go, we were fortunate to be able to fly over, and as I recall, we left on or about the first of February, 1947.  We flew out of La Guardia, on Long Island.

Kitty and the four children, ready to fly to Italy

We flew from there up to Gander, in Newfoundland, and it was snowing when we landed there, and while they were de-icing the plane, they decided we needed to spend the night there so they could finish de-icing the plane.  They put us up, I guess, some place near the airport.  The next morning we flew out of Gander and went across the pond to Shannon, Ireland.  When we got there, it was snowing again, so we had to stay overnight again, at Shannon, and the next morning it was good enough weather so that we flew off.  We were supposed to fly to Paris, then on to Rome, which was our final destination.  However, I had gone to sleep during flight, and somehow it woke me up with everyone screaming and hollering, and it was obvious we were where we were to be going.  I said, “what’s all the fuss – are we in Paris?”  They said, “no, we flew over Paris because it was flogged in, and we were on to Rome.”  So we were finally there.  This was about the second or third of February, 1947.

I remember when we actually landed in the airport in Rome, that it was kind of a noisy landing, which was unusual for most airports.  It turns out that the main airport had still not been repaired, since it was soon after World War II, obviously, and so we actually landed on what they called, PSP, which is pierced steel plates.  They had laid that down and that was the landing strip.

 

 

By Royal Air Force official photographer, Trievnor J (Fg Off) – http://media.iwm.org.uk/iwm/mediaLib//54/media-54531/large.jpgThis is photograph C 5894 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24448640

I also remember they took us almost immediately to one of the nice hotels in Rome, which had been taken over by the U.S. military, and I think we stayed there for a while before we moved to our quarters, which was in the big apartment-type complex in Caserta, which is near Naples.  I remember the apartment there was heated with one pot-bellied stove, which was in the middle of one of the rooms.  I don’t even remember which room it was, but I remember that pot-bellied stove was the only heat we had in the apartment.  I also remember we could look out our room, which was on the second or third floor, and we could see the courtyard, which was where I and my friends used to play.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fred Remembers~Part 2

2 Sep

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

I remember walking along the boardwalks in Atlantic City and Ocean City, especially Ocean City.  I remember getting some salt-water taffy there.

[Charles’ note:  In August of 1937, after my second year in seminary, I was offered a call to become the minister of a small church in Columbus, New Jersey (Columbus Baptist Church), a few miles southwest of the capital, Trenton.  The small town was located in a prosperous dairy region.]

 

Columbus Baptist Church

 

[Judy’s note:  Charles enlisted in the U.S. Army in the Fall of 1941, as a Chaplain.  Fred was already a part of their little family by this time.]

 

 

[Charles’ note:  In December of 1942, I got the itch to get into the war, so I volunteered.  I was accepted, and by the end of the year had secret orders sending me to North Africa.  Volunteering is not recommended.  I did that twice and somehow it seems to have fitted in with God’s plans for me.]

[Judy’s note:  Charles was wounded in 1943, and carried a piece of shrapnel near his heart until the day he died in 2009. Following the war, the family moved quite a bit to different postings.  In 1947, the family moved to Italy.  In 1949 Charles transferred to the U.S. Air Force, as one of its 186 Chaplains, where he stayed throughout the remainder of his military career.]

 

Fred again:  In 1943, when Emily was born, we were living in Collingswood, New Jersey.

 

Kitty and Emily

 

I remember Dad telling me that in the early-to-mid-1940’s, he had purchased a 1941 Chevy sedan, which we had, I think, until he left for Italy in 1946.

 

Charles and Fred

 

I remember that, at one of the forts where we lived, we actually, for a length of time, lived on the fort, on a street which was just across the street from the large parade ground, and that’s where I would see the troops out there marching around.

I remember that at night I used to go out with a slingshot and would try to shoot bats that were flying around among the trees which were just outside our front door.  I always missed.

Sometime in 1946, we moved again, out to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, and I remember Mom saying many times that the people there were not very friendly to military people, who were also known as transients. I remember her saying she would be pushing the baby carriage with the twins down the road, with Emily and I in tow, and people wouldn’t even get out of her way.  She would have to go into the street or into the grass to get around people, and they were just generally not very friendly people there.

 

Charles and Fred – Fort Leonard Wood, MO

 

I also remember I was in the school there. I remember them trotting out the little pads – we had to take a nap there every day – I think one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Beginning

27 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES
Judy Wills

 

I would like to preface this post by saying that I am going to do a series of posts written by my husband, Fred. He has had a most interesting life. At one time, a few years ago, we sat down and he dictated his thoughts and memories, and I typed them up. Some of them are in a bit of a random order. I have pictures to go along with a lot of it.

I must also tell my readers that, at one time I asked Fred’s mother if they had pictures of all their life adventures. She informed me that there were none. Big disappointment! However, on another visit to their house, I was snooping around and found….four full albums of family pictures!! Surprise!! I brought those four albums home with me and scanned them all into the computer.

At one time, I asked Fred’s parents to write their memories. Fred’s dad put up quite a resistance, insisting that “in five generations you have a million people!” But I finally got them to understand that I only wanted THEIR memories – not all those millions! What came of that was a wonderful “Memories” book. I made copies for all of their four children and nine grandchildren.

 

Charles and Kitty Wills – Fred’s parents

 

All that to say, that Fred’s story needs to be told, and here it is. I will also be inserting comments that I know about this family, as well as some of the tidbits that Charles wrote in the Memories book. Enjoy!

FRED REMEMBERS

I remember being at Grandma Wills’ home in Ocean View, New Jersey. She had a big yard with a gazebo, and evergreen shrubs were around the gazebo. The back yard was about 100’ out – a large field.

 

 

The gazebo

I remember there were lots of potato plants, and I remember picking bugs off the potato plants.

I remember she had a big kitchen. I remember sitting at the table, snapping and stringing green beans.

Near the barn was the outhouse – it had 3-holes – the middle one was small, for the children.

I remember the barn – the left side was a single-car garage-type, with boats, duck decoys, and a work bench. The other side had a 2nd floor loft for storage.

I remember visiting Uncle Melvin’s home. [Judy’s NOTE: Fred’s dad was the middle child of five – three boys and two girls] It was down the street and the other side of the street from Grandma’s. It was two-story, with a porch in front, and was newer than Grandma’s. Behind the house was a big field with HUGE, sweet blueberries.

I remember that north of town there was a pond. Dad (Charles) said he and his brothers and sisters used to swim in it. In winter, it would freeze over, and they would ice skate on the pond.

 

Melvin ice skating

I remember a one-room schoolhouse, a general store, and a gas station. I remember my First Grade in Ocean View. It was in the same one-room schoolhouse where Dad went, and I had the same teacher Dad had for HIS First Grade. There were six grades with one teacher when I went to school there. There were eight grades when Dad attended.

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

I Love Church

19 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I have been going to church all my life – literally!  My father was in a church-related vocation, and my mother worked in a church office – that’s how they met.  And so, I began attending church when I was just a few weeks old.

I have some vague memory-flashes of that first church in Dallas.  I remember the smell of Pinesol;

 

Credit Google search and Pine-Sol website

 

I remember a floor that was black-and-white squares, checker boarded;

 

Credit Google Search and BlogBeen

 

 

I remember sitting on Miss Bertha’s lap as she read Bible stories to the children.

 

 

 

But that’s about all I remember.  Of course, I wasn’t quite four years old when we moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  We remained in the Albuquerque church all the rest of my life, until Fred and I married and moved away.  So that’s where most of my memories lie.

 


First Baptist Church, Albuquerque
credit Google Search

 

Fred (my husband of 57+ years) tells of also attending church from a very early age.  I believe he says he received a “perfect attendance” pin for Sunday School when he was 13 months old.  His father, at that time, was pastor of a church.

 

 

So it comes as no surprise that Fred and I met in church.  Well, more or less met in church.   (Please see my posts of October 5, 2014 – How We Met – Part 1; October 12, 2014 – How We Met – Part 2; October 19, 2014 – How We Met – part 3)  It was all church-related, in any case.

I remember the Sunday School teachers I had – some good, some not-so-good – but all gave it their best.  I only remember one pastor while there.  He and his family lived not too far from our house, and his youngest daughter and I became fast friends.  We spent a lot of time together.

After Fred and I married, wherever we moved to (either through work or the Air Force), the second thing we did was look for a church home.  The first thing was to find a place to live.  When we lived in California one year, we joined a church because they “needed” us.  We quickly discovered that God had not intended us to be members there.  But we stuck out the year, knowing it was only going to be one year before we headed to Germany.  After that, when we looked for a church home, we would tell those who visited us that, “it’s not that we didn’t feel God’s presence there – we just don’t feel that church is where God wants us to serve.”  And we wouldn’t stop until we found the church where we DID feel that God wanted us to serve.  It’s so much easier to do when you know you are in God’s will!

I must tell you about one experience we had in our present church.  I was church secretary and Fred was the administrator.  We really loved our pastor – he was a wonderful man to work with, and was a great preacher.

 

 

One Sunday morning, during the sermon, I remember him making the statement he had just turned 50.  He then said, “I guess that makes Laura [his wife] 50 as well.” Then, from the back of the sanctuary, came a VERY LOUD… “NOOOOOOO!!!” from Laura.  John ducked his head, and with a grin said, “I guess not.”  Brought the house down!  Laughter all around.

I’m so glad God gave us laughter!  I believe Jesus Himself laughed at times.  Can you imagine a small child on His knee, and Jesus laughing at something the child said or did?  I can.  And all the while, that laughter can bring us closer to His word.

 

 

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Philippians 4:4

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord and delight in his salvation.

Psalm 35:9

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

The Dandelion

12 Aug

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

In a previous post, I wrote about my best friend, and the things we’ve given to each other (please see my post of April 6, 2014 – My Best Friend) .  We have similar tastes in jewelry and collectibles, so it has been fun to find just the right gift to give each other.

One thing that I found and gave to her – and then, of course, had to have one for myself – was this dandelion, encased in plastic.  It sits on a shelf where, of course, I have to dust it, but also where I can see it all the time.  It’s one of those “how did they DO that” kind of things.

 

 

Fred and I have seen another kind of dandelion recently.  Well, at least, I call it a dandelion.  The brand name Tupperware is probably familiar throughout the world by this time. I began my Tupperware collection back in the 1970’s.  If my readers have any Tupperware containers, just look at the embossed inscription on the bottom of the item, and you will see the words “Orlando, Florida” on it. The Tupperware corporate headquarters is located in Orlando, Florida.  Actually it’s just over the Osceola County line, making it in Kissimmee (that’s pronounced (Kuh-SIMM-ee), but I’m sure no one had heard of Kissimmee when Tupperware began their business.  So it’s known as being in Orlando.

All that to say that, Fred and I drive by the Tupperware buildings on our way to one of our favorite eateries, Culver’s. The main entrance to the Tupperware building has a rather large open area, perhaps even called a courtyard, and in the center of that is the dandelion.  It is a metal structure with “spokes.”  During the day, when Tupperware is open for business, the structure is turned on and water shoots out of the spokes, making it look like a dandelion, and so I named it that.  It’s quite pretty.

 

 

I’m told that there was something else there, but now there is the dandelion.  I like the dandelion.  What do you think?

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

What Was That…?

5 Aug

SUNDAYMEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Recently, Fred and I had something happen that brought back a memory from 1967.

We were both brushing our teeth in our bathroom (we have two sinks), when we heard a ku-thunk..rumble..rumble sound.  Looking at each other, we wordlessly asked each other…what was that??

We finished brushing our teeth and began searching the house for the source of the sound.  Neither of us could find anything.  Huh.

Later, I was in our second bathroom, when I noticed that the safety bar we had installed in the tub/shower, had fallen off the wall and into the tub!  So THAT was it!  I brought Fred into the bathroom with me and he re-installed it (it’s a suction grip, not installed with screws).

 

 

All that brought back the memory.  We were living in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1967, on the economy (military-speak for non-military housing), in a second-story apartment.

 

Judy in front of our upstairs apartment

 

We had only been there about four months. Karen had been born a few months earlier.  We had her crib set up in the “living room” area of the apartment, as it was closer to our bedroom than the second bedroom, and had more space for the crib.

One night, as we were sleeping, we were awakened by – and kept hearing a funny sound – almost like a tearing or ripping sound. It was recurring throughout the night, and neither of us could figure it out.  All of a sudden, there was a tremendous CRASH!  Fred was up and out of the bedroom before I could hardly lift my head off my pillow!  He raced into the living room to check on Karen.  She was happily sucking on her two fingers, as she usually did, as she slept peacefully on.

We were flummoxed!  What had caused that sound?  Not finding anything out-of-the-ordinary, we went back to bed and to sleep.

When we got up the next morning, I went into the bathroom to take my morning bath (no shower in the German house!).  What to my surprise, but did I see that about six of the wall tiles had ripped away from the wall and fallen into the tub!  So THAT was what had awakened us!  That bathroom wall was on the other side of our bedroom wall, so the sound of the “ripping” would have been quite loud in our bedroom.

We informed the landlord and they had the tile fixed quickly.

It’s a funny memory now.  It’s always amazing to me how something that happens now brings back those memories.  Sometimes it doesn’t take much to find the memory.

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years.
Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.
She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.
They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born.
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
She was a stay-at-home mom for many years.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.
Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer.
She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.
%d bloggers like this: